Vol.6 Cover Story
CC-Link Partner Association 15th anniversary
Celebrating the 15th anniversary of the CC-Link Partner Association
Pursuing global standard network compliant with standards
The CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA), which promotes the widespread usage of CC-Link, will celebrate the 15th anniversary of its founding in November 2015. CLPA has been consistently pursuing "globalization" for the past 15 years. CC-Link originated in Japan and has been consistently oriented towards globalization, increasing its presence in Asia and throughout the world. Currently, CLPA focal points are located in 9 countries and regions including Japan, and products adopting CC-Link have exceeded 1,400. With the milestone of 15 years as the occasion, CLPA will further accelerate its global expansion.
Although it is now hard to believe, CC-Link used to be a semi-open network when it was originally developed in 1996. However, as the number of connected nodes increased, the value of the network enhanced exponentially. It was therefore decided to open the specifications of CC-Link fully and to work toward its widespread acceptance as a network not dependent on vendors. Thus, the CLPA was established in November 2000.
This was when the emerging economies were beginning to gain attention. With manufacturing industries transferring their factories to China one after another, full-fledged promotion activities at the global level were impossible when limited to Japan and the developed countries. Thus in April 2001, 6 months after its establishment, CLPA opened branches in 6 countries and regions including China, Korea, Taiwan and ASEAN in addition to Europe and the United States.
By swiftly focusing on and establishing focal points in rapidly growing Asia, CC-Link rode the wave of Asia's emergence to ensure its spread on a global level. By 2003, overseas members accounted for a majority within CLPA, and CLPA activities had shifted their focus to the global level in just a few years after establishment.
Elsewhere, CLPA has promoted compliance with international and local standards for the sake of globalization. Starting with the SEMI Standard in May 2001, various standards and ISO/IEC certifications have been acquired. Compliance with national standards in China, South Korea and the like has also helped to establish an environment promoting implementation.
However, when it comes to the biggest topic for CC-Link in terms of compliance with standards, that would be the announcement of "CC-Link IE" in 2007.
Capturing the World of Ethernet
As a part of the CC-Link Family, the emergence of CC-Link IE incorporating Ethernet technology dictated the flow of opening and globalization of CC-Link. The use of Ethernet, the de facto in the computer network field, as a base has allowed the CC-Link Family information combination to cover not only production sites but the entire manufacturing industry, including management departments in the office. Other factors that further promoted globalization were that general-purpose products became usable for physical parts such as cables and connectors and that necessities for maintenance became available anywhere.
Thereafter, functions have continued to expand, with CC-Link IE at the core. In particular, it can be said that the safety communication function and motion function achieved in 2011 were iconic among function enhancements. Safety communication prioritizing safety-related control information and motion functions absorbing delay in multi-axis control had been considered achievable only in a closed-technology dedicated network; they became possible as well in the open, Ethernet-based CC-Link IE. CC-Link IE acquired standards such as ISO and IEC one after another, further establishing its superiority.
CLPA members reached 2,328 companies in 40 countries by March 2015, and the US-based Cisco joined the Board (made up of central companies with management roles) in April 2015, giving the organization greater variety. Global focal points span 9 countries and regions including Japan, with a Thailand and Mexico branch to be established in the near future as the 10th and 11th focal point. The globalization of the CC-Link Family and CLPA will most definitely continue its progress.
Branch Managers’ Future Strategy
There is increasingly widespread consideration and application of CC-Link IE as the standard network for new facilities in fields including electronics and automobiles. We plan to carry out product advertising support through catalogs and exhibitions as well as holding monthly seminars for the introduction of product development methods.
CLPA-Taiwan Deputy Director
Networks easy to set are in demand in Taiwan's manufacturing industry, and CC-Link, with its diverse development methods, is well rated. We plan to proceed with support for manufacturers developing compliant products as well as with promotion to users.
CC-Link is recognized as a network which includes all the functions required of industrial Ethernet by the manufacturing industry. Using the "Gateway to Asia" campaign, our policy is to push hard for Asian expansion on the part of our US partner members.
CLPA-Europe General Manager
European industry is focussed on improving future manufacturing operations by implementing the principles of Industry 4.0. A key requirement for this is network bandwidth. As the only open gigabit Ethernet available, CC-Link IE is the best choice to support this demand
Based on the government initiative of "Made in China 2025", interest in industrial Ethernet is sharply increasing. We plan promotions including participation in major exhibitions, information development on social media, co-production of road shows with major media etc.
Given the background of rising labor costs, the ASEAN robot market is predicted to double within the next three years. We plan promotions focusing on CC-Link features highly evaluated by the ASEAN manufacturing industry, including reduced wiring and broadband.
We plan PR activities in mid-sized cities, such as holding seminars in Coimbatore, heartland of the textile. We will also conduct seminars for automobile industries in 2015. Our policy also extends to establishing the brand with future engineers through collaboration with universities etc.
CLPA-Turkey Country manager
CC-Link has become even more widely known due to the use of CC-Link IE for the Marmaray project, building a rail tunnel under Turkey's Bosphorus Strait. We plan to work toward wider acceptance in areas including machinery industry, automobiles, and public investment.
- CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA)